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If you are a non-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) national aiming to establish a business with a commercial or industrial license in the United Arab Emirates mainland, you will indeed require a local sponsor to serve as a business partner. However, if you opt for a free zone setup or engage in business activities covered by a professional services license, the need for a local sponsor is not mandatory.
Does our company need a local sponsor?
For most incorporation options an office or office facility is required. For mainland companies, the office can be located anywhere within the Emirate of incorporation.
For Free Zone companies, there has to be an office within the Free Zone. Most Free Zones offer hot desk facilities that can be used for the registration.
Do we have to have an office?
Visa allowance is linked to the size of the office as well as the designation of the staff. Typically 40sqft of office space per visa is the standard.
How many visas can we have?
Incorporation time depends on the jurisdiction and the structure of a company. Mainland incorporations can be completed in two to three working weeks provided all of the relevant documentation is in place.
Some Free Zones can take longer depending on their own internal KYC and registration processes.
How long does it take to incorporate?
Share capital requirements depend on the jurisdiction. For most mainland companies there are no minimum capital required, however some restricted activities require one.
Most Free Zones do not require a minimum share capital with the exception of some of the more established authorities, such as DMCC, which requires AED 50,000 paid up capital to be deposited prior to the license issuing.